352.1115/4799: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in Spain (Thurston) to the Secretary of State

913. My 91131 and 912.32 Once the Embassy and Consulate General have been removed from Barcelona it might be difficult and unduly [Page 274] hazardous to return for emergency protection and evacuation work. In view of this the Department may wish to give consideration to the advisability of a further attempt to evacuate a portion at least of the American nationals residing here before the transfer takes place. I am informed by Admiral Lackey’s34 flag secretary, Lieutenant Commander Roberts, that a vessel for such service probably can be made available.

It is estimated that approximately 175 Americans are still in Barcelona of whom perhaps three-fourths are of dual nationality Filipinos or Puerto Ricans. It is likely that only a few would avail themselves of an opportunity to leave at this time—but by affording that opportunity our responsibility at a later and possibly perilous time would have been discharged. A circular can be sent to all Americans informing them of the impending closing of the Embassy and Consulate and warning them that in an emergency they might not be able to receive diplomatic or consular protection or be evacuated by an American ship.

  1. Ante, p. 166.
  2. March 22, 11 a.m., not printed.
  3. Commander of Naval Squadron 40–J, in European waters.